Entertainment behind the scenes
Hugh Jackman, who recently starred in the title role of action film “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and Daniel Craig, the most recent British double-agent in “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace,” are planning to take their acts to the Broadway stage later this year in a new play, the New York Post reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed sources.
They will star together in a drama called, “A Steady Rain,” about two Chicago cops whose long-term friendship is put to the test. It is being produced by Barbara Broccoli, who also produced Craig’s 007 roles in “Quantum of Solace” and “Casino Royale.”
Jackman already is beloved by New York’s theater community and has hosted the Tony awards several times. A spokesman for Jackman could not immediately confirm the report as the Australian actor is away promoting his latest film and a spokeswoman for Craig was unavailable for comment.
“Wolverine” star Hugh Jackman has many sides. There is the movie action hero, the Broadway musical award winner and the charming Oscar host. He also hobnobs with billionaire Rupert Murdoch’s family and visits Third World countries where microfinancing projects give people hope for breaking out of poverty.
Jackman plays the main character in superhero movie “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” that opened on Friday, reprising his role as a tough mutant with claws that spring from his knuckles.
Ever wonder what it would be like to travel to Hollywood, attend a gala movie premiere and walk up the red carpet alongside a big star like Hugh Jackman, who plays Wolverine in upcoming “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”
Well, no need to go to Hollywood because Hollywood — and Jackman – could come to you.
Hugh Jackman brought his singing and dancing act to the Oscar awards ceremony and “Slumdog Millionaire” walked off with a leading 8 Oscars.
***Veteran showman Hugh Jackman pulled out all the stops in his first stint as Oscar host, gamely singing and dancing his way through the night’s five best picture nominees with rarely seen Broadway flair.
In the musical number that traditionally kicks off the awards ceremony, Jackman — deadpanning that the Academy had cut back on the glitz this year because of the recession — pranced between cut-outs illustrating the reverse-aging of Benjamin Button; sat at a bare-bones set of the fictional quiz show in “Slumdog Millionaire”; roped in an ostensibly bemused Anne Hathaway to recreate the “Frost/Nixon” interview; stood on a “soapbox” Milk-crate; and, finally, stood on the top ropes of a make-shift wrestling rink as paper Oscars unfurled on either side.
The choice of Hugh Jackman to host the Oscars on Sunday has generated plenty of talk, because he is no comedian and Hollywood is wondering how a song-and-dance man like Jackman will fare at the high-pressure job, which usually goes to funny men and women such as Billy Crystal, Jon Stewart or Whoopi Goldberg.
But average folks on the Web think the Australian actor will do just fine. In a poll on celebrity news site PopEater.com, 85 percent of respondents think he will do either “great” or “OK”. Only 15 percent of the 31,000 respondents expect Jackman will be “terrible” at hosting the Oscars.
Jackman will star on the Fox channel in a series of three, 60-second spots that together form a storyline tied to the movie “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” Fox said on Thursday. The movie comes out on May 1.
Oscar organizers are promising a show filled with “risks” by changing the old formula of a comedian telling jokes and film award winners getting all teary when they accept the world’s top film honors. But will ”risk” be enough.
Stung by competition from other awards shows and simply more channels on TV, the Oscars in recent years have seen an almost steady decline in viewership to 32 million last year — the lowest audience ever — from 39.9 million in 2007.
It’s a tough job hosting the Academy Awards. It’s supposed to be entertaining, but it’s also a night for the stars to revel in the glory of an Oscar win. And the host has to be edgy and funny, without going over the line and insulting the honorees.
But when it works, as it did in 1992 when tough-guy actor Jack Palance did push-ups in front of comedian and host Billy Crystal, only to become the butt of Crystal’s jokes for the rest of the night, it makes for memorable moments.
On Friday, the organization behind the Academy Awards named Australian actor Hugh Jackman as the host of February’s annual show. Jackman is the first non-comedian to single-handedly host the show in recent years. The last time an Australian hosted the show was in 1987, when to “Crocodile Dundee” star Paul Hogan shared the stage with actress Goldie Hawn and comedian Chevy Chase.
Coming off starring in “Australia,” which has had only limited box office success since its Nov. 26 opening with a total box office take of $43 million, Jackman will rely on song and dance instead of just jokes to entertain a worldwide audience on Oscar night.
He has done well hosting the Tony Awards, the Broadway version of the Oscars, but the Oscars’ audience is used to comedians on the show. On a night where hype and pomp rule, the comedian’s role is often to keep the show grounded by injecting a jester’s dose of realism.
This past week, veteran Los Angeles Times columnist Patrick Goldstein has kicked up a fuss in Hollywood by saying that Oscar winner Nicole Kidman is not a true Hollywood star. By Goldstein’s reckoning — and he wrote about it extensively in this past Saturday’s newspaper — Kidman’s box office appeal is not strong enough to label her a true star.
In fact, while Kidman is hounded by paparazzi around the world and regularly graces the cover of many a celebrity magazine, her movies have stumbled at box offices in recent years. The most recent example is epic “Australia,” which has taken in only $31 million in about two weeks in U.S. movie theaters.